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When/how/did you resume work post baby? Looking for tips and advice!(15 Posts)
We are 32 weeks pregnant with our first long-awaited baby. DH and I run our own business from home, the work was originally my hobby/passion and I love it so I would like to 'go back' to work at some point post-baby but I also want to be able to do a fair few baby groups and classes etc. and don't plan (at the moment) on using any regular childcare pre 2 years old. My work hours would obviously be flexible. But am I living in dream land??
I'm wondering whether both DH and I working from home may mean shared work and childcare as a good team or if neither of us will get anything done and therefore bills won't get paid Has anyone managed/tried to manage this kind of set up??
Also those who did return to work:
- when did you feel capable of doing so, like able to function like a kind of normal human?
- any advice for a clueless first timer?
Also any tips or advice from anyone with experience from working at home with a baby would be very very gratefully received!!
I went back to work at 4 months. Had been going to baby groups etc every day for about 3 and a half months so didn't feel like I'd missed out! I think I'd have struggled to go back much before 3 months as I was still knackered. Can't give any advice about working from home but up to about 9 months or so I found it really easy to do stuff in the house whilst DS slept/entertained himself. From crawling onwards it's a nightmare!
If you have an easy first baby I can imagine you both taking it in turns to work / baby care would work.
If the baby is tough / demanding (won't be put down, poor sleeper, a screamer) it will be harder. It's not easy to shut that out, you reaction as a parent to hearing your distressed child with it is pretty primal, as it should be.
As your baby becomes aware, working from home probably won't work with them there. I could get away with it occasionally when dc was under one, but if she saw or heard me it was over. So either you'll need the Dc to go out to a child minder or nursery, or you need to get an office or desk space somewhere else you can go out to.
I've a very organised friend who tried working from home with a nanny and it just didn't work out. (Sadly she blamed the nanny) but basically if you're around the Dc want to be with you. She sent him to a child minder and that went much better.
I went back after 10 months with both my kids. It is very difficult to work from home with a young child in the house. Even once they're in bed, many of them will still wake and scupper your work. You will definitely need at least some regular days where your child is in nursery or with a child minder so you can guarantee being able to get things done.
DH works from home and I like it in that there's flexibility and he can help out for 5mins here and there or finish early so I can go to an appt or whatever. But if we both did, it's really only be one person working at a time. You could do 7-5/6pm between you if that would work? If not, consider nursery or family help.
We are farmers so a similar set up in that we both work from home. I worked full time on the farm pre children.
I did nothing for 6 weeks after ds1 but he was a 3 day labour followed by emergency c sec and a nightmare time starting breastfeeding. I say nothing but my dh had to work a lot more due to the time of year (bad planning!) so I was cooking, washing and answering phones and stuff. 6 weeks to 6 months he came with me in the sling and I did two mornings a week plus the odd phone call/email/cow emergency. 6 months he started nursery and I did 2 days a week.
Ds2 - 2 day vbac with stitches but breastfeeding was sooo much easier. Within a week I was supervising a 2.4 year old, feeding the baby in a sling and able to do emails and basic office work. By 6 weeks he came with me to do my two mornings and at 6 months joined his brother At nursery
My dh sees the children most days for 3 meals a day. I love our life - I think it's the best set up -
We both work, we both look after kids. The only think is add is I've learnt that we both need things away from the family - I run and he goes to watch sport occasionally.
It's amazing what you can do when you have to!
Thanks so much ladies! Some great advice and great to hear some of you have achieved similar to what we're hoping for!
@Silvertap so was baby happy enough in a sling whilst you did office work and busied around?
We don't have a separate office within the house (an L-shaped desk in the corner of the living room...) and can't afford external office space. So from what many of you have said I'm now thinking after I get 'over' the first few weeks / when I feel ready it may be worth recruiting my parents who would be more than willing to come and take baby out for an hour a couple of days a week so we can get a bit of concentrated work done... And maybe DH may be able to do the odd baby group so I get desk time as well as him having some when I go. Although I'm not sure how welcome Dads are at such groups, but then that's a whole other issue!!
Yes danigrace she was. She still goes in it at 2.5 if she's grumpy. I could not have done it without a sling!
I suppose it depends on what sort of hours you both need to work. If you work, say 70 hours between you now I think that would have to be heavily reduced. There is no way I could work with a 6 month plus baby in the same room!
I am self employed and work from home. I started doing 6 hours a week from when dd was 4 months, she's now 9 months and I'm doing much more. I would say don't expect to do anything for the first 3 months. From then I do think it depends completely on your baby. My dd is happy to play by herself for a time and naps well in her cot. Not the case for many people. My job is something that I can do in dribs and drabs and it doesn't usually matter much if I get interrupted- which you definitely will all the time. I also do a lot in the evening when she has gone to bed. If your job requires your full attention for a set period of time i dont think its possible without childcare or you'll end up doing both things badly. It's so hard to tell what's going to be possible before baby is here so I would try not to commit to anything and just play it by ear.
Thanks so much for the advice ladies, it's very much appreciated. We do both work full time hours at the moment (although at 33 weeks I'm getting tired again and starting to wish I hadn't committed to as many pre-baby contracts!!). I just really hope at least one or the other of us is able to work with baby around being looked after by the other... Based on what you've all said I've already had a chat with my parents about popping round and taking baby out just for a couple of hours in a morning once I'm ready to ease back into work and they are very happy and excited to do that (they're one other grandchild is a longish drive away so they're looking forward to being able to be more involved with one around the corner, I just hope the enthusiasm doesn't wane lol).
A lot will depend on the type of work, too. If you need to be available at certain times, or if you can go off and do 3 hours in the evening.
I think a big issue will be the fact your living room and work space are the same - you won't be able to concentrate whilst anyone else - be that your dh, your parents, or a 'Mother's Help' or local teen, come and entertain the baby for a couple of hours.
Is there not a box room or garage you could work in / make into a study?
We're in a 2-up, 2-down, very lovely but small terraced cottage. There's a work desk tucked at one side of the room which we both work from (it's quite nifty, has part that pulls out to make it L-shaped and then can be rolled away so it doesn't protrude when we are't working) then arm chair and sofa etc. on the other side of the room. Upstairs there's our room, little bathroom and the box room which has been made into baby's bedroom, she'll be in with us initially but the room now has a cot and all her things in. So no other possible office space unfortunately. Definitely wasn't planning on having baby looked after by anyone other than DH & I whilst in our home, like you say, that certainly wouldn't work.
On the whole, aside from pre-arranged sporadic meetings, hours are completely flexible - we get research contracts then hand in reports a few weeks later, most contact with clients is by email.
My current plan based on all of the above advice is: get as much done as I'm able with baby in a sling in the early months; make the most of nap times when I feel able and am not asleep myself; and when that becomes more difficult give each other at least an hour on our own each day (me going to baby classes whilst DH gets uninterrupted work done for an hour or so, and him going to classes whilst I get focused work done or more likely for him than classes going out walking which he enjoys as we're in a nice area of countryside); and on top of that asking my parents (again very active countryside all-weather walkers) to take baby out a couple of mornings a week.
I'm under no illusion that we'll be pinging back to full-time hours any time soon and we wouldn't choose that right away anyway, but I feel like I have more hope and much more of a plan than I did before posting (thanks everyone!) but ultimately just need to be flexible and see what the future brings!!
Any chance your desk can go into your bedroom? I reply think having a separate work space will be valuable.
What InDubious said.
When my dc were little, we had a computer in our bedroom. Meant you could tuck yourself away and work when other people were downstairs. Only being able to work when the baby is outside isn't going to work for long I wouldn't have thought.
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